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SeaWorld Orlando makes Manta official

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Published: May 29, 2008 at 8:58 AM

SeaWorld Orlando today made official that it will be building Manta, a Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster that will open next summer.

"Gliding, swooping and diving up to nearly 60 mph, through four inversions on 3,359 feet of track, riders will feel as if they are a ray, taking flight effortlessly from sky to sea -- so close at times that the Manta's wings skim the waves," SeaWorld announced in a press release.

The park promises a queue "adorned with ray-inspired art in marble, jewels, and mosaics," as well as "face-to-fin encounters with 300 rays, as well as thousands of fish and mysterious creatures native to oceans all over the world," including "shark rays, spotted eagles rays, leopard rays, cownose rays, and oscillate river rays."

No specific opening date yet, just "summer 2009."

Readers' Opinions

From Brandon Mendoza on May 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I hope the noise from this ride is minimal. Even though the Atlantis ride at Sea World San Diego isn't that great, I'm glad it's off in a corner where the sound doesn't get channeled into the rest of the park.

I've always seen Sea World as a place to relax and enjoy the lazy pace of the park. And of course the animals too!

Rides at Sea World have always been an afterthought for me, but I understand why they're built in these parks.

From David Graham on May 29, 2008 at 10:20 AM
I can't wait for this to open. Sheikra and Kraken are 2 of my favorites B & M, but don't get to visit to many other parts around the country yet to see what is out there. Will count down the days, 2009 is going to be a great year in Orlando with Universal and Sea World. Disney???
From Bradley Robertson on May 29, 2008 at 11:08 AM
B&M definitely makes some of the best coasters and I can't wait to ride this next year. Patriot, Silver Bullet, and Montu are some of my favorite coasters and I assume their flying coasters are just as awesome. After reading the official release earlier I couldn't help but to think that Everest might have met its match with the best themed coaster queue.

Brandon: To reduce the noise they could do what they did with Talon at Dorney Park and fill the track with sand

From Deidre Dennis on May 29, 2008 at 12:42 PM
I'm trying to decide if we want to go back to Orlando in 2010 so we can hit them all: Disney World, Universal Orlando & Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves last time and it's always been the plan to go back one day. What exciting times down there.
From Brandon Mendoza on May 29, 2008 at 12:45 PM
Bradley: The sand thing sounds familiar... if I recall correctly, both RotM's at Universal have the same "technology" using sand to reduce vibration and noise?

I can only hope that San Diego's Sea World gets something similar to this... but I can see them cutting corners just like Atlantis... plus there's not much real estate left in the park!

From Joshua Counsil on May 29, 2008 at 1:53 PM
This sounds excellent. I always wondered why SeaWorld didn't have animal exhibits in the queue for Kraken. It's an excellent idea, as long as the noise level is maintained.
From Derek Potter on May 29, 2008 at 2:17 PM
so the water skimming thing is true...

You can't really lose with a B&M.

From Daniel Binder on May 29, 2008 at 3:03 PM
Brandon, I think you're confusing ROTM with Dueling Dragons, which have sand in them to reduce the amount of noise involved.

I'm dying to know if there will be a pretzel loop element! Tatsu's looks awesome from afar, and I'm hoping Manta will introduce that element to Florida.

From Gareth H on May 29, 2008 at 5:26 PM
The Land they are using for Manta is HUGE. I've been to SeaWorld quite a bit lately, backing off on the old Universal visits after Mardi Gras, and I've seen the amount of Land they are using. It actuallt seems to stretch out across the car park at one point. This would be an awesome eye catcher, very similar to Universals new coaster. I'll keep you updated as more goes up, but I am looking forward to it.
From Mike K on May 29, 2008 at 7:44 PM
Universal has Rockit, Sea World has Manta. What's the response Disney?
From Brandon Mendoza on May 29, 2008 at 9:54 PM
Daniel - Actually, I just Googled "Revenge of the Mummy Sand" and it does look like the ride has sand in some of its track. I haven't been on that ride since the first two years it opened, so I don't remember much. All I remember was reading stuff about it.

But back to Manta, I've never been on a flying coaster that "skims" over water! Sounds super fun!

From David Kirby on May 30, 2008 at 11:44 AM
Oh really? SeaWorld's building a new roller coaster? I had no idea!

Really, I think this might have been the worst-kept secret in the theme park industry. It's about time they make it official. That concept art has been floating around for a long time.

From Robert Niles on May 31, 2008 at 5:20 PM
When I spoke with Universal Creative's people during construction of Revenge of the Mummy in Hollywood, one of them did say that they were using sand in the track to reduce noise.

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